George Lawrence’s Summer Shorts: Rob(in)son and Jerome

Monday 24 June 2019

Someone needs to turn KRob off and back on again; we downloaded the new KRob 2.0 app in May which promised less talk about transfer targets, but we’ve woken up this morning to find that’s all he’s talking about. Not only that, he’s talking about last year’s transfer targets albeit in some kind of encrypted code. He’s interested in bringing back Jerome ‘Jerome’ Sinclair and Luke ‘Garbs’ Garbutt who he wants to play alongside Sykes-ey, Hally and Henry-ey. 

Tuesday 25 June 2019

Nico Jones has given up his paper round and signed his first professional contract having broken into the first team at the end of last season. It’s a major first step for the seventeen-year-old whose ambitions to play in the Champions League final, appear in a World Cup and above all, be old enough to wear a football shirt with a beer logo on it. 

Meanwhile in the early hours of the morning, Jonte Angle Smith didn’t feature as Bermuda bowed out of Gold Cup despite winning against Nicaragua.

Wednesday 26 June 2019

Let’s face it, the CONCACAF Gold Cup is the last strand of knicker elastic holding up George Lawrence’s Summer Shorts at the moment. The gift keeps giving after Gino van Kessel’s Curacao snatched a last minute draw against Jamaica to progress to the next round where they’ll play the USA. Van Kessel enjoyed a short run out, coming on as a substitute.

Thursday 27 June 2019

KRob’s been talking. And talking. And talking. 80s pop sensation Danny Wilson who was linked with us is so enamoured by KRob he’s decided to stay in the US to continue what one website described as his MLS nightmare, the Sloth in the Box Jerome Sinclair is off to play in Holland while Chris Cadden has done a bit of a Matt Green (first time) and gone all quiet on a potential deal.

The good news is that former Charlton manager Lee Bowyer has admitted that Tariq Fosu is set to join. “He knows Karl Robinson…” said the reformed nasty piece of work “…and it still hasn’t put him off.” He didn’t add.

Meanwhile, creepy Uncle Warnock has got his man as Curtis Nelson turned into a Bluebird.

Friday 28 June 2019

Eric Thohir may look like a teenager featured on local news because of his thriving antiques business, but there are few moves he can’t shake. Having recently managed the election of Indonesian president Joko Widodo, he’s turned his attention to their Olympic bid by becoming a member of the IOC committee. This is all setting himself up for the biggest challenge of them all; having a cup of tea with Firoz Kassam which doesn’t result in a court order, but don’t run until you can walk.

Saturday 29 June 2019

Those of you concerned we haven’t signed an under-23 player for about 25 minutes will be reassured to hear that we’ve signed Yoav Sade. The club, who seem to collect under-23s like GLS collects tea lights from Ikea, is hoping he’ll play with Salvi Spasov. ‘Yoav sade slavi spasov’ is what GLS says when confronted by his wife at 3am when he gets home after 14 pints of Strongbow.

Sunday 30 June 2019

We close the week pretty much where we started. The Sloth in the Box Jerome Sinclair has signed for Dutch stutterers VVV-Venlo. It’s a brave move, and who knows he may regret it. But, he should never look back – as we had to look back into midfield to find out where he was every time a tantalising cross dropped harmlessly into the hands of the opposition keeper. Sick burn.

The wrap: Oxford United 2 Scunthorpe United 1

There’s a point every week where I think ‘well, this is a microcosm of our entire season’ then something comes along and changes that. If you look at the table, you can see why it is so difficult to figure out exactly what our season has become – we’ve only had one less defeat and scored five more goals than Coventry in eighth, we’ve only conceded one more goal than Wycombe in 14th, and yet we’re 19th, at half-time yesterday, we were in the relegation zone. It doesn’t seem to matter how they come, winning is what makes the difference.

It is not only difficult to remember a first-half as pedestrian and impotent as yesterdays, it’s hard to imagine how any game of football could be worse. There were moments in which I reflected on our days in the Conference, was it ever as bad? Is this what we’ve become?

The highlight, if that’s the right phrase, was Jordan Graham, our most dynamic player, dribbling just inside our half, unchallenged with space to move into and players available, turning and putting the ball out for a corner. 30 yards out and under no pressure. The corner, then drifted over everyone and bounced out harmlessly for a goal kick. The sequence had ‘gif of how terrible football is’ written all over it.

Inevitably, there were questions about team selection. Luke Garbutt on the wing, Sinclair rather than Mackie, Browne and Whyte on the bench. Mark Sykes split fans down the middle – some thought he looked bright and dynamic, others thought he was a liability and naive. He was a bit of both, his interview afterwards probably explained it best – his instinct is to get forward and seek opportunities as he had done when he was in Ireland. In League 1 you have to be disciplined and he’s still learning that, principally from John Mousinho. There was one point where he broke through, even before his heavy touch wasted the chance, you got the feeling he didn’t have the composure to finish it. It reminds you that professional football is far harder than it looks.

It was hard to believe that the second half could be as bad as a spectacle, although it was easy to see us falling to a similar sucker punch to the one we got against Peterborough.

It did pick up; Whyte came on with his typical spirit. Sykes supplied for Sinclair for the first, John Mousinho’s breathtaking cross had pinpoint accuracy for Sinclair’s second. You know this.

Then, of course, as the unfamiliar feeling of having a comfortable lead was sinking in, Scunthorpe fans were drifting out of the ground and Sinclair was brought off in order to receive his applause, we concede, the referee adds five minutes to the game despite there being almost no action of note and panic sets in. Is that our season in microcosm? Frustration punctuated by moments of joy underlined by periods of farce?

The question has to be what comes next – more joy, more frustration or more farce? It’s hard to tell. What is interesting about yesterday is that despite reservations about the starting line-up, and the significant role Mousinho and Gavin Whyte played turning things around, most of our January transfer window signings played their part. Sykes supplied the first goal, Sinclair scored twice and was cleverer in his general play than most give him credit for, Jordan Graham has been high impact from the moment he got here.

Jerome Sale started comparing Sinclair’s situation to that of Kemar Roofe – a loanee without much of a track record who emerged to be a star. That might be overstating things a little, Roofe is a once-in-a-decade signing, but in the same way that the January transfer window in 2015 played a key role in our survival and then promotion the following year, maybe there are fragments of that here. In the most confusing of seasons, perhaps there is a pattern emerging.